The INSEAD GEMBA plants a fire in your heart, challenges your status quo in many ways, and makes you reach for more, while making friends for life.
Anna Ljosne

Anna Ljosne

Nationality/Passport: Norwegian Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Regional Territory Manager at Caterpillar

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I hiked the circumference of São Tomé and love to sleep under the stars.

So, what made you decide to pursue an EMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD?

My aunt Barbara completed her MBA at INSEAD in 1984 and has been a great inspiration to me. My values align with INSEAD’s focus on diversity and using "business as a force for good”, and my aim with pursuing the GEMBA was to meet people with similar values. INSEAD has therefore always been my preferred option. 

Initially I had planned to attend the full-time MBA but received a job opportunity in Ivory Coast which I couldn’t turn down. During the pandemic, business travel stopped and my hunger for learning and connecting with people outside of my existing network increased. Since I had recently moved to the UAE, applying for the INSEAD GEMBA at Abu Dhabi campus was a great fit. 

If you were to describe your experience in one sentence, what would it be?

The INSEAD GEMBA plants a fire in your heart, challenges your status quo in many ways, and makes you reach for more, while making friends for life.

Has the EMBA helped you in your career so far?  

The EMBA has given my career confidence and clarity; confidence that I have the ability to take on larger tasks and bigger teams, confidence to say no to initiatives not meant for me, clarity on the roles I want to pursue. Finally, the EMBA has made be aware of the importance of culture: the culture of the corporation, the divisions or the teams I am part of, and how to influence these.

What are your thoughts about the multi-campus experience?

So far, the core courses for the Middle East section have taken place in Abu Dhabi. However, the diversity in the class (18 nationalities for the GEMBA Middle East section) and the interaction between the Abu Dhabi, Europe and Asian campus makes you feel part of a worldwide classroom. 

I very much look forward to the upcoming Electives in Fontainebleau and the Key Management Challenges in São Paulo, San Francisco and Singapore. 

Could you tell us more about the Leadership Development Programme experience?

Imagine the LDP; a group of 3-4 humans holding up a mirror for you to look at yourself from different angles, guided by a group coach. It’s a unique setting and a safe environment which allows you to work on your biggest leadership challenges, receiving completely unfiltered feedback through a group of INSEADers who have no stake in your development (unlike family and colleagues). 

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme? 

Start with identifying your “why". Why do you want an Executive MBA and why INSEAD? Also remember that there is never a perfect time to do an Executive MBA, so why not now? ;-)